The United States of America (USA) Embassy to Uganda has underscored the need for an independent media
Speaking during the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) Media Dinner held on Tuesday May 3rd evening at Hotel Africana in commemoration of the 30th World Press Freedom Day anniversary, the Embassy’s spokesperson Mr. Anthony Kujawa noted that an independent media is a corner stone to democracy, hence should be supported.
He applauded the critical role by Uganda journalists despite emerging threats against their profession.
The UN’s rapporteur Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana who was one of the key note speakers challenged journalists to be knowledgeable if they are to critically execute their duties
Other key note speakers included among others, the UNESCO’ representative to Uganda Ms. Rose Agony, vice Chancellor for Victoria University Dr. Lawrence Muganga and Mr. Milton Kambula.
During the same event, 10 people were awarded by UJA for their tremendous contribution towards the development of media industry in Uganda,despite prevailing challenges.
The awardees included;
1. Mr. John Kakande who received a Long Time Achievement- integrity and long serving editor award which largely contributed to the transformation of the New Vision.
2. Dr. Sam Kazibwe- Best Researcher award for his well researched work at CBS Radio.
3. Ms. Margaret Sentamu-Top female journalist award, for promoting the status of female journalists in the Ugandan media via Mama Fm Radio.
4. Mr. Joshua Kyalimpa- Media Development award for his commendable role towards the establishment of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Media and good governance in UJA.
5. Capt. Francis Babu- Best Media Entrepreneur award for his relentless advocacy of journalists rights.
6. Prof. Muhmood Lutaaya- Responsible award for his vital contribution in transformation of the utility body NWSC.
7. Mr. Denis Ngabirano -Best Emerging Entrepreneur, for creating employment to Ugandans via SUMZ,one of his firms.
8. Dr. Coreta Lawrence Muganga- Best Innovative Educator award, for his innovative contribution that has turned around Victoria University.
9. Mr. Milton Kambula- Peace award, for his outstanding contribution in conflict resolution and promotion of peace.
10. UBC- Best Media Training Institution award,for training and mentoring hundreds of journalists since it’s establishment, but also hosting the biggest media content achieves in Uganda.
11. Mr. David Senfuka- Best Herbalist award, for his innovative herbal solution that has helped many people in treatment of cancer and sugar diabetes.
Other awardees included individual editors and and journalists from various media houses who received certificates of recognition for their excellent work.
The function was attended by journalists from various media houses across Uganda, members of the public ,CSO’s , government officials, members of the security agencies, Police ,Army and ISO and Development partners of Uganda.
The 2022 World Press Freedom Day was commemorated under the theme; ” Journalism under Digital Siege”
The global celebrations were held in Punta Del Este- Uruguay while celebrations for the African continent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In Uganda, the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA) took a lead with series of activities including the UJA Media Football Gala which was held on Sunday May 1 2022@ Philip Omondi Stadium-Lugogo, launch of 1 million tree planting campaign with My Tree Initiative on Thursday May 27 2022 and UJA Media , World Press Freedom Day joint press conference with other press associatlions; AMA, CHOUMA, EJAU, Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Media as well as UJA Media Dinner at Hotel Africana in Kampala, which concluded the commemoration.
By the office of the Secretary General for Uganda Journalists Association (UJA)